Leader of Muslim Shi’ites in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, are alive and are recuperating from gunshot wounds at an undisclosed location in Abuja, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, a Shi’ite group, said in a statement on Thursday.
Ibrahim Musa, spokesperson for the group confirmed in a statement that El-Zakzaky whose whereabout had been a source of concern since the violent confrontation between soldiers and members of his group in Zaria, Kaduna State was visited by the contact committee of National Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA on Wednesday.
“On Wednesday 13th January, 2016 some members of the contact committee set up by the NSCIA visited Sheikh Ibrahim Yaqoub Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement, who is incarcerated by the federal government since 14th December, 2015.
“According to a member of the committee, Prof. Dahiru Yahya, they met the Sheikh and his wife, Sister Zeenah Ibrahim, in Abuja, and are all recuperating from the bullet wounds they sustained during the army’s attack on the Islamic Movement in Zaria.
“The Islamic movement welcomes this development. It is a step forward in quelling the anxiety of the teeming millions of Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, all over the globe, in knowing at least the whereabouts of the Sheikh and the condition of his health,” Musa said.
The group however said it was steadfast in its demand for justice and the release of its leader.
“However, we are still adamant in our request that the Sheikh be set free unconditionally, because up to now the government has not been able to justify the unjustifiable atrocities committed by the army that led to his arrest.
The group added that it has so far established that about 730 people, men and women who are still missing since the confrontation with soldiers on Saturday 12th December, 2015.
“These missing people were either killed by the army or are in detention. Their whereabouts is still unknown and undisclosed.
“Also there are 220 brothers of the Islamic movement in detention in Kaduna Central prison, some of them with fatal gun wounds and burns.
“Reliable reports from some detention facilities owned by the Nigerian Army in Kaduna, Bauchi and Abuja have confirmed the detention of some brothers of the Islamic movement therein.
“As at the time of writing this statement, no single corpse has been handed to the families of those killed.
“In as much as we commend the NSCIA for its effort to resolve this crisis initiated and executed by the military, we still demand answers to some questions that the Chief of army staff couldn’t answer when the contact committee met him in his office.
“The questions are as follows as narrated in a national daily by a member of the committee: What is the actual number of the dead, and when are they going to be handed over to their relatives for proper burial? Are the injured receiving adequate treatment?” said the spokesman.
While calling for unconditional release of El-Zakzaky, his followers and the bodies of those killed for burial according to Islamic rites, the group said the government should set up an independent judicial commission to probe the clash. It also asked for the support of human rights community to get justice.
While calling on human rights activists to mount pressure on government to do justice to them, they also called on government to set up an independent judicial commission under the supervision of international community.
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